Welcome to our first installment of Systems Spotlight ! Every couple of weeks we’ll tackle one system you should definitely have documented at your practice. Today we’re going to start with How to Fill Gaps in your Appointment book. Why? because gaps in the appointment book are COSTLY!
Gaps in your schedule can be frustrating and often feel like you’re playing a complicated game of Tetris. Having a system in place for filling your gaps can help your team effectively and efficiently fill these spaces with appreciative patients.
Oftentimes filling the schedule book is a system created by and living in the mind of your longest serving staff member. They have a nuanced way of plugging the holes that maybe only they fully understand. If empty gaps are costing you money, then you should probably make sure that your staff are helping fill them to the best of their ability.
The best way to do this is threefold:
- Get your team on the same page by telling them there’s going to be one standard way of filling gaps.
- Communicate. Every patient should be offered to go onto the ‘stand-by list.’ Doing this lets your patients know that you’re a busy, high performing dentist, but it also signals to them that they are special enough to have their appointment moved forward. This encourages flexibility on their part too.
- Prioritise which patients to bring forward first. The goal is to call one patient who will say yes to moving their appointment forward. Prioritising your patients means that you’ll spend less time calling people because you’re calling the right people.
These steps should get you and your team working toward a beautifully filled and productive appointment book.
Want to have OUR system?
Level Up has a step-by-step version of this system available for free upon sign up. Dr Cigdem Kipel tells you how she gets her team to convey the stand-by list to her patients and how to prioritise their appointments when a gap shows up.